The First Responder Immunization Project is a collaborative effort between the Chambers County Health Department, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that all First Responders are fully immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases within the state of Texas. Our commitment is to have Chambers County's first responders fully immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases and participating in ImmTrac2.
Protect yourself against vaccine-preventable diseases
It is critical to increase vaccinations among first responders prior to deployment to a disaster area. In preparation to respond to an emergency or a disaster area, it is important for first responders to be up-to-date with all of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) recommended adult immunizations. In many instances, first responders do not receive recommended vaccines until preparing for deployment or when they arrive at the disaster site.
Since vaccinations do not provide immediate protection, this delay puts first responders at risk of acquiring these infections and elevates the potential to spread vaccine-preventable diseases upon return to their home community, especially among their immediate family members. Having complete immunization records in the Texas Immunization Registry of all vaccines that have been received helps in the evaluation of needed vaccines and avoids the need for revaccination.
First Responders: Please check with your healthcare provider now about updating all of your recommended and required immunization.
View the CDC Website Immunization Recommendations for Disaster Responders
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, the immunizations required for those that respond to disaster include the following:
In accordance with the current CDC guidelines, responders should receive a tetanus booster if they have not been vaccinated for tetanus during the past 10 years. Td (tetanus/diphtheria) or Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis) can be used; getting a Tdap for one tetanus booster during adulthood is recommended to maintain protection against pertussis. While documentation of vaccination is preferred, it should not be a prerequisite to work.
Hepatitis B vaccine series for persons who will be performing direct patient care or otherwise expected to have contact with blood or bodily fluids.
When there's no time to think about your vaccination status, you won't have to if your records are stored in the Texas Immunization Registry. It's a free, secure online system from DSHS that consolidates and stores your immunization records. Talk to your provider or Chambers County Health Department about how to register in ImmTrac2.
All adults need vaccines to help protect against serious diseases that can result in severe illness, missed work, medical bills and an inability to care for their families. Adults may not have received all their vaccines during childhood. Some childhood vaccines do not offer protection into adulthood and a booster may be needed. Some vaccines are recommended based on age, job, lifestyle, or health condition. Getting vaccinated lowers the risk of getting sick and lowers the chance of spreading a serious disease to others including those that are most vulnerable to severe illness such as infants, older adults, and those with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems.
Vaccines work with the body's natural defenses to reduce the chances of getting certain diseases and suffering from complications. The amount of protection varies by vaccine and other factors such as age and health but immunizations are the best defense against many serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. The greatest risk of vaccine-preventable diseases occurs among those that are not vaccinated.
Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect health. Vaccines go through years of testing before they are licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once licensed, research is reviewed by experts to make recommendations on whom to vaccinate. Even after licensure, the CDC and FDA continue to monitor vaccine safety. Vaccines can be received even if individuals are taking prescription medicines. However, live vaccines which include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and varicella (chickenpox) may not be administered to those who have a suppressed immune system.
Side effects are usually minor, such as feeling sore where the vaccine was administered or having a slight fever. These go away within a few days. Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to a vaccine but serious or long-term effects are rare.